Take a deep breath..... and travel along meandering roads. They start at quaint historic villages wind their way up to spectacular views on granite strewn hilltops, through ancient forests, and alongside flowing creeks and rivers.
See below for some fantastic day trips we've put together to help you explore and discover the secrets of our area.
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The Old Glenlyon General Store
Take an easy and pretty drive through the countryside to the Old Glenlyon General Store only 38 minutes from Castlemaine.
Situated in an idyllic setting, this 1870s building is quaint, and the store has a huge array of preserves, jams, wines, spirits and local produce. Lunch, coffee and cakes is a delicious experience.
On the way there take a drive past the miners cottages and tiny farmhouses of Yapeen then stop to visit the historic Chinese Cemetery at Vaughan Springs.
The picturesque Vaughan Springs Reserve has a number of easy walks, you can take a dip in the creek if its warm and kids will love the giant slide.
Don’t forget to take an empty drink bottle to sample some tasty mineral water from the spring!
Mount Tarrengower Lookout
This is a great lookout with 360 degree views. A bit of a climb up the stairs but well worth it.
After taking in the surrounding sights as far as the eye can see then it is just a 5 minute drive into the charming village of Maldon. Wander around the heritage listed streetscape, admire the architecture, browse through boutique stores, admire an eclectic array of antiques, collectibles and vintage pieces or sample seasonal produce and epicurean delights in many quality cafes or bustling country pubs.
You can take a tour through Carmens Tunnel Goldmine. Like the miners who drove the Tunnel, you will see by candlelight the unaltered features and techniques of gold mining in the 1880s just as they were left. Experience the tunnel’s warmth in the winter and coolness during the summer periods.
Then perhaps stock up on some picnic supplies before heading via the tiny community of Baringhup on the Loddon River to Cairn Curran Reservoir. At the reservoir you can go fishing, have a swim, enjoy a picnic and the BBQ facilities.
Come back via Newstead, situated on the Loddon River. Stop into Dig Cafe for reputably the best coffee in the district or grab a well-earned beverage at one of the 2 pubs in town. The tiny butcher shop in the main street is well known for its award winning bulboar sausages. Pick some up for tea while your there.
Feel like a nice relaxing place for a picnic and to perhaps throw in a line for some redfin or trout? Then Lauriston Reservoir is the place to seek out. This is only a short 35 minute drive from Castlemaine. There are plenty of picnic and BBQ areas in well looked after grounds which overlook the reserve.
To get there head out through the Chewton Bushlands to the old Calder Highway at Elphinston and then continue on to the charming town of Malmsbury where art is a way of life.
Stop for coffee and cake at the Malmsbury Bakery who pride themselves on using as much local produce as possible to produce their delicious goods, then continue along the quiet country roads to on to Lauriston Reserve where you will find perfect picnic spots and BBQ areas overlooking the reserve.
Afterwards head to Kyneton to stroll the shops and cafes of Piper Street and then travel back to Castlemaine via the wineries of Harcourt for a sample of the regions award winning wines.
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